Ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain.
Three rules the Gunny teaches:
- You don't get paid extra to embrace The Suck, not one penny more.
- Don't ask for The Suck, it will come.
- Never let someone else do your job. If they do, you will be replaced.
Parasitic weight increases the Suck. It's like your buddy putting rocks in your pack before an op. When you unload your pack and find the rocks your are pissed.
When you carry a pack and don't use the waist belt, you are carrying parasitic weight. The frame and belt become non-functional, parasitic weight, like brining rocks to a gun fight. If you are issued a pack and told not to use the belt, teach them about the ILCS™ by sharing the PDF attached below.
New Technology: on the left is the ergonomic AttackPAK ExoSpine, weighing about 1 pound. It protects the user from crushed spine, protruding equipment and provides unrestricted mobility. The contour of the frame mates with the back plate on your body armor, eliminating bolsters, and providing extra stability.
Outdated technology: The frames to the right are military issued frames that range from 1.2 pounds to almost 3.5 pounds for the ALICE. Most users are taught not to use a waist belt because wearing a belt makes the pack dangerously slow to ditch. The belt is also not compatible with a gun belt or body armor.
This is a screen shot of the 2019 Mystery Ranch catalog cover photo, used for teaching purposes. You can see the pack belt is tied back, as taught by unit leaders, rendering the frame system as parasitic weight. This set-up is so common on the battlefield that the company is comfortable putting on their cover and most people wouldn't give a second thought.
Why do leaders accept this as SOP? Until the ILCS, there hasn't been a better alternative.
Share the PDF below and teach your command about the improvements in load bearing designs.
Back injuries and a legacy of pain
With the weight on your shoulders, spinal compression injury is imminent. The back back ballistic plate digs in and wears you raw. And, with the weight hanging on your shoulders the front ballistic plate crushes your chest restricting breathing, reducing performance, putting soldiers at risk. This is why they call it the SUCK.
The soldier's equipment burden clearly needs to be reduced, but it is also critical to improve equipment design to incorporate ergonomics and biomechanics.
Learn how to build your kit.